Can You Study for a Doctoral Degree Online?

30 JUN 2022 By olgan
Can You Study for a Doctoral Degree Online?

Increased Demand for Doctoral Degrees

Education is a powerful source of knowledge. A doctoral degree is set as the epitome of this purposeful act of exchanging and transmitting knowledge.

The competitiveness in professional settings for both women and men has led to an increased demand for doctoral degrees. An advanced qualification, like a doctoral degree, often opens doors for higher-paid professional positions. A delay in obtaining such a degree may negatively influence your professional progression and stop you from receiving a long-deserved promotion.
When considering pursuing a doctoral program (PhD, DBA, EduD) one must also have in mind that a doctoral program is a long-term engagement and brings with it extensive time, financial, and energy investment. A closer look into this process will help you decide whether you should consider enrolling in a doctoral program.

Online Doctoral Degree

The traditional face-to-face programmes may be overwhelming since most of the time they require the relocation of the student. The general perception is that you will have to completely focus on your studies and you will not be able to perform at your best at work. This should not defer you from starting a doctoral program online. Since an online doctoral degree allows flexibility, you can study anywhere, anytime; regardless of your family and/or professional commitments.
Online education is perceived as the mode which takes less time and effort to complete. However, this does not apply to a doctoral degree. It is rare to finish a doctoral degree within a minimum period of 3 years. It has set standards and should be completed within the same timeframe as a face-to-face degree. A doctoral degree usually takes at least 4.5 years to complete.

Therefore, you should consider all possible scenarios including an online programme.
Globally all education settings at all levels completely or partially include online engagement. This tendency has developed extensively during the last few years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even traditional universities perform some activities online and/or collaborate with academics and students virtually.
Unicaf designed all programs and communication for online education via the state-of-the-art online platform. We have the experience and the knowledge to provide fully online accredited doctoral programmes tailored to the needs of each discipline and our learners.

How to Switch to an Online Doctoral Programme?

What can you do in case your life circumstances change and you can’t continue a traditional programme anymore? You can apply for the online programme and ask for exemptions of the previously completed modules. This is done following an evaluation of the similarity of the content of the modules covered. Contact one of our advisors here. They will be happy to assist you further.

Our Online Doctoral Degrees

In case you studied online, or in blended mode before, you may be familiar with this study method. If on the other hand, you have not done another degree online, you shouldn’t worry, as Unicaf’s platform offers easy navigation and access to material and features.
It is also important to know what to expect from an online doctoral programme; the highest academic qualification.
Our doctoral programmes follow a hybrid doctoral degree model between the American and the English systems. Students initially take taught modules that function as an in-depth introduction to research methods and experimental design. This is followed by the research component of the degree, which includes the thesis write-up and the Viva Voce Examination.
During the taught modules, a group of students enrol in a module. A lecturer provides feedback on assignments and communicates directly to each student via Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). At this point, you participate in an online virtual classroom, where you can exchange ideas and discuss different arguments with your peers.
Once you complete all taught modules you will start the dissertation stages; the research component of your degree. Here you will have to demonstrate your ability to organise and perform your research autonomously. The doctoral degree is the award that recognises the contribution of the researcher to their respective scientific field. During the thesis write-up, the student works under supervision. The student and the supervisor arrange online synchronous meetings accordingly and written feedback is provided via the VLE platform.
Throughout the study period, you will have the chance to engage in different activities organised by the School of Doctoral Studies. These include various Open days and webinars, as well as other scholarly activities such as online conferences and the publication of your own research.

Can You Study Online?

So, the answer is clear. Yes, you can study for a doctoral degree online. A state-of-the-art platform and a supportive university can surely assist you and make your journey easier.
The next question is can you study online?
An online doctoral degree allows for flexibility, accessibility, affordability, and above all credibility of the degree obtained. As such, you can personalise your degree as far as the place and time of your study. In order to balance your social and professional responsibilities with your demanding online programme, you should be organised, dedicated, and consistent. You should work independently under the guidance of your supervisor and be faithful to the deadlines and schedule provided. Your main aim should be to prove your independence as a researcher.

Important Tips

In case you consider engaging in an online doctoral programme here are some very important tips:
1. Carefully choose the programme of study and the topic.
The best option is to choose a topic that is related to your professional occupation or your previous studies. In this way, you will benefit from daily activities in your professional environment. Furthermore, the knowledge obtained will be applied in your professional field.
2. Test the applicability and innovation of the topic.
Prior to submitting your research proposal, you need to ensure that the research offers innovation within the research arena. Precisely, you should check previous studies in the same area, or in other countries, and clearly identify the conditions your study will look into, other than those already researched by previous studies.
3. Practise your organisational skills and time management
Before you embark on a doctoral degree, ensure that you can manage your time by having clear slots for your work, family, and study commitments.
4. Refresh your academic skills
If you had finished your Master’s or previous degree a few years ago, you should refresh your academic skills prior to enrolling for your doctoral degree. Start by reading books and articles about your academic subject. Spending a few hours each week reading academic texts (articles and previous studies) relevant to your potential doctoral topic can help you stay relevant to your field of study. Once you enrol in a doctoral degree you will attend the induction module which is going to provide more information on academic writing, referencing styles, and argumentation.
With online education, university comes to you!

If you are thinking of pursuing a doctoral degree, browse all PhD programmes offered by Unicaf here and receive a generous scholarship based on your eligibility!

Dr Olga Novokhatskaya